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Photo from August 2014 production of ZWERGE and NYC's Dixon Place.  Photo by Richard Termine

Photo from August 2014 production of ZWERGE and NYC’s Dixon Place. Photo by Richard Termine

After a recent presentation of a play that we are developing back in NYC, a family member told me how proud of me they were. This was followed by, “It really is true isn’t it Jean Marie? If you do what you love, the money will follow”.   While they’re support means the world to me, in that moment, all I could think was, “Yeah, well I hope that the money follows quickly ‘cause I am about two strenuous heart beats away from putting my credit card on austerity and am seriously considering buying a car again… to live in”.

I’ve never really been much of a cynic when it came to the phrase in question, mostly because I believe that if you play your cards right with honesty and kindness while doing your very best at what you love, indeed, you will have a very fulfilling life. But being as human as I am, periodically “keeping the faith” seems to only manifest as Bon Jovi lyrics or a lifestyle choice solely mastered by the likes of Tibetan monks or Jesuit nuns.

Happily, my goal while here on Nantucket isn’t just to keep the faith, but to live it. For me, at this moment in time, this goal means keeping expenditures down while having as many creatively and socially stimulating experiences as possible. When I’m not squirreled away somewhere writing, I am observing and participating in as many different and new things as I can while struggling to stay within the confines of my meager budget while living on this very expensive island. But the challenge doesn’t stop there. I’m also keeping my chin up while trying to fundraise for upcoming creative projects and have been quietly fearful that I will not be able to close the gap on the financial deficit from this recent production of Zwerge*. If we don’t break even, we cannot move forward with this very important project and that would be a sin. (In my humble opinion of course).

But then Huzzah! This morning, the good news came flooding in! It ends up that there was a clerical error and that earlier this summer we should have received a check for the exact amount needed to move the show into the next stage. That’s right! We received a grant from the wonderful folks at the Puffin Foundation in support of Zwerge! The financial deficit has been wiped out! The nail biting over our debt can cease. The future of Zwerge is once again bright. Oh don’t let me mislead you. The work is not over yet. While on Nantucket I will continue to look for presenters and sponsors for the next stages of this how. However with the glorious news of this grant, I feel a sense of relief that will allow for creative energy to flow full blast and to that I say, “bring it on”! “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Clause”. And yes, “If You Build It, They Will Come”. And of course, “Do what you love and the money will follow”.

(Thanks Puffin Foundation)!

*Zwerge was presented with the support of the Jim Henson Foundation, The National Puppetry Conference at the Tony Award-Winning Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, The Puppet Showplace Theater, The Flock Theater, Dixon Place and countless private donors.

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